Media releases

Nominations for the seat of Murray

The Nationals are the only party solely focused on representing rural and regional Victorians, and we have a proud 100-year history of doing so. The electorate of Murray has great historical significance for The National Party, being first held by John McEwen. With this legacy, and an eye firmly on the future, our party is committed to Murray again having a strong National Party voice to put the electorate first.

The diverse needs of those who live and work across the seat of Murray deserve a local champion who will fight for their interests in Federal Parliament. After local discussions with communities in the electorate, our party has decided to open nominations for preselection in the electorate of Murray. 

Nominations will open tomorrow, Tuesday the 29th of March and close at 5pm on Monday the 11th of April, 2016.

For further information, please contact Sally Branson, State Director 03 9654 6588


Media releases

Nominations are open for 3 seats in the upcoming Federal Election.


Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Up to $700 million secured for regional Victoria

The Liberal-Nationals have secured three times as much funding for regional Victoria from the sale of the Port of Melbourne lease than was offered by Daniel Andrews.

The Liberal-Nationals will support an amended version of the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015 in Parliament.

In those amendments we have secured 10 per cent of port sale proceeds – or up to $700 million – for transport infrastructure projects in regional Victoria. 

That’s compared to the paltry 3 per cent – or $200 million – originally offered by Daniel Andrews, and welcomed by the VFF president. 

After countless empty threats by Treasurer Tim Pallas, Labor has finally backed down and agreed to our sensible proposal which will deliver a better deal for all Victorians.  

Unlike the city-centric Andrews Labor Government, the Liberal-Nationals stand up for regional communities and fight for their fair share. 

Daniel Andrews’ proposal to send 97 per cent of the port sale proceeds to level crossing projects Melbourne was not a fair deal. 

We will not accept the scraps off the table thrown to regional Victorians by the Andrews Government.

Media releases

Appointment of The Nationals Victoria State Director

Sally Branson has been appointed The National Party of Victoria’s State Director. 

Victorian President Peter Schwarz today welcomed the appointment of Sally to this role, as an eminently qualified professional who will provide strong leadership for the party.

Sally has worked extensively across rural and regional Australia in community development and in senior public affairs roles in both the private sector and in international diplomatic and defence relations. She most recently served in the Office of The Prime Minister and in a senior leadership role for a Commonwealth Minister.

Along with her professional qualifications and post graduate studies in regional development, Sally brings to the role her great love for rural Victoria and passion for the parliamentary system. She looks forward to working together with both the members and Parliamentary team to ensure country voices are well represented in Victoria’s political and social conversations.  

Sally is from Colbinabbin in rural Victoria, where some of the very first meetings of The National Party of Victoria were held one hundred years ago. 

Sally will carry on the great work of departing State Director Jenny Hammett who showed great leadership and diligently worked as both a member of the party and as State Director.  

Sally will commence in the role on March 2, 2016.

For more information contact State President, Peter Schwarz – 0419 118 069

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Walsh congratulates Federal Nationals colleagues

Leader of the Victorian Nationals Peter Walsh has congratulated his Federal colleagues following significant changes this week, including new party leadership and Cabinet positions.

Firstly, Mr Walsh welcomed Barnaby Joyce as the new leader of the Federal Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition Government.

“Barnaby tells it how it is, and has been a strong voice for rural and regional Australians for many years,” Mr Walsh said.

“There is no questioning Barnaby’s passion for country communities and he will be a dedicated leader of The Nationals going forward.”

NSW Senator Fiona Nash is the new Deputy Leader and was today announced as Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health in the new Federal Cabinet.

“Congratulations to Fiona, who has been a fierce advocate for regional communities and is the first female Deputy Leader of the Federal Nationals,” Mr Walsh said.

“Fiona’s work so far to progress the health needs of rural communities has been crucial in ensuring they can keep better pace with bigger cities.”

The Nationals have secured an additional position in the Federal Cabinet today, which sees Member for Gippsland Darren Chester promoted to Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

“Well done to Darren on his much-deserved elevation into the Federal Cabinet,” Mr Walsh said.

“With his new portfolios, I’ll be talking to Darren sooner rather than later about regional Victoria’s need for roads and rail investment.”

Media releases

Statement: Warren Truss

Leader of the Victorian Nationals Peter Walsh has congratulated Warren Truss on his dedicated leadership of the Federal Nationals.

“Throughout his career Warren Truss has applied a common sense approach to government decision making.”

“In particular, Warren’s commitment to securing extra funding for regional roads and especially the Black Spot program has made dangerous roads safer and saved lives.”

Media releases Regional Development Transport Community Services

Regional commuters paying dearly for train crisis

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has added to the misery of regional Victorians by admitting in Parliament that the V/Line crisis is costing taxpayers $300,000 a day in replacement buses.

At the same time, it was revealed through a Parliamentary inquiry today that the cause of the wheel-wear problems plaguing V/Line won’t be known until the end of March, while timetables won’t be back to normal until mid-year at the earliest. 

Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said the revelations would rub salt in the wounds of regional commuters. 

“After everything they have gone through – train cancellations, overcrowding, replacement buses, signalling faults, wheel wear – to find out it’s costing taxpayers $300,000 per day is a slap in the face for regional Victorians,” Mr Walsh said. 

“That’s $300,000 every day that could be better spent providing a better train service, or fixing up our ageing schools, repairing dangerous potholes on our roads, or improving our hospitals. 

“Just like the $1.1 billion wasted on not building the East West Link, we are seeing more money going down the drain under Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan’s watch.”

Mr Walsh said rural and regional Victorians needed some real answers on the V/Line crisis. 

“Regional Victorians are sick and tired of excuses. If Jacinta Allan can’t fix the train mess, then Daniel Andrews should step in and take over,” Mr Walsh said.

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure Community Services

Bendigo rail in crisis under Jacinta Allan’s watch

Bendigo residents will have lost all confidence in Jacinta Allan.

Just two weeks ago, she promised that “Bendigo will have better train and bus services, making it easier get to get to work or to school, and home again at the end of the day.”

But now Bendigo’s train network is collapsing under her watch, all Jacinta Allan has to offer are excuses – and no solutions.

‘Conversations’ and ‘consultation’ will not solve the countless issues plaguing VLine.

If Jacinta Allan continues to refuse taking responsibility for Bendigo’s train problems, Premier Daniel Andrews must urgently step in and take control.

Media releases

Labor must end duck season uncertainty

The Andrews Labor Government should stop stalling and decide whether it will hold a full duck hunting season this year. 

The season usually opens in March. Hunters, their families and business owners – such as supply stores and accommodation providers – should be given ample time to plan their travel or arrange additional staff.

There is no reason why there should not be a full duck season this year.

Where conditions are dry, ducks will have moved on to another location – including NSW, which has experienced flooding conditions recently.

Comments from Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:

“It is obvious Labor is more concerned about upsetting inner-city voters than announcing a 2016 duck season. 

“Duck hunting is a legitimate recreational activity in Victoria and the Andrews Labor Government should stop stalling on the 2016 season.

“Hunters, families and businesses deserve to know whether a full season will go ahead now, so they have time to make arrangements before the opening weekend.”

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Labor’s cash grab at expense of fire-risk communities

Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government has been caught out trying to claw Commonwealth funds away from upgrades to mobile phone black spots in Victoria’s high fire-risk areas.

The Age has reported that the Andrews Labor Government lobbied the Commonwealth to change the funding criteria for its black spot program, so money meant for fire-prone areas could instead help to pay for Daniel Andrews’ commitment to improve phone coverage on trains.

The Commonwealth has said it will not be changing the funding guidelines.

It comes after Daniel Andrews axed a $40 million program set up by the former Victorian Coalition Government to upgrade mobile coverage along rail lines and provide Wi-Fi on V/Locity trains.

Comments from Shadow Minister for Regional Development Damian Drum:

“Daniel Andrews and Labor should be ashamed by their attempts to short-change communities at risk of bushfires.

“The only reason Daniel Andrews wants this extra funding is because he cut the existing $40 million program from this year’s Budget.

“This is another appalling snub for regional Victoria from the Andrews Labor Government.”